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dracisk

Date Night Tomorrow with Somewhat Picky Date

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My husband and I have a babysitter booked for tomorrow night, and we haven't figured out what we're doing yet. I kept hoping I'd have some epiphany about where we should go, but that hasn't happened yet. Of course I love to eat out, so that's always a good fallback, but my husband isn't nearly as into food as I am. He enjoys food but would be happy with a big ol' steak for most meals.

I'm hoping someone can help me with a restaurant suggestion in case we can't think of anything else to do! Here are some parameters:

  • Most cuisines should be OK with the exception of Ethiopian. (There may be others I'm forgetting.)
  • We live in Silver Spring, so a reasonable drive from there would be ideal. (I'm thinking no Georgetown, Arlington, Alexandria, etc.)
  • We'd like to spend under $200 with alcohol.
  • We like to eat at the bar, so as long as we can get bar seating somewhere around 6:30 or 7pm, that's fine with us.
  • My husband has recently become interested in cocktails (though he's not super adventurous), so a good cocktail program would be nice (but it doesn't have to super high end or creative).
  • My husband isn't a fan of small plates and wouldn't do well with a tasting menu.

Here are some non-steak-focused places we've enjoyed together (or at least my husband didn't hate :-)):

  • Woodberry Kitchen
  • Fork and Wrench
  • Dino's Grotto
  • Red Hen
  • Central
  • Trapezaria

I think the reason I'm overthinking this a bit is that we recently had a date lunch at The Partisan, which I thought he'd like because it's so meat-centric, and he was annoyed when he ordered the doner dish and there was by his reckoning way too little meat on his plate. I guess he expected a huge pile of meat for the price. Anyway...

If anyone knows of anything non-food-oriented to do tomorrow night that isn't already sold out, I'd be interested in knowing about that, too!

Thanks in advance!

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Spend a couple of hours at Hillwood Estate and then go to Tail Up Goat.  I was there on a Saturday afternoon not long ago, just walked right in at opening.  Btw, I'm not a fan of TUG, but I'm in the minority.  With Booze, about $100 pp.  back-up would be Mintwood.

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Thank you! I actually went to TUG last week and loved it, but I wouldn't take my husband there (small portions, a little too out there for him). Mintwood Place is a good idea, though!

We were just actually talking about returning to Dino's Grotto. I'd wanted to go somewhere I haven't been before, but we were at Dino's Grotto like a year and a half ago, so it's been awhile. I've been to Mintwood Place, too, but it's been years.

Our babysitter isn't on duty until 6pm.

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I know I am sounding like a broken record but do consider Hazel.  I didn't pay attention to their bar seating situation but otherwise it would be a good fit with your requirements.  Their kitchen is putting out some great stuff right now.

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Rural Society, Bibiana, Garrison, and Corduroy both have space at 7.  

Or maybe the Classics followed by a movie at AFI?

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I think Convivial should be your safety net, strong classic-oriented cocktail program and it has a decent steak frite. Fun cocktail tools at the bar if that is where you'll sit.  

You might want to angle for Kinship, I like eating at their bar. Or the Dabney. 

I've got a tight radius so far, so maybe Thip Khao, or something in Petworth, for closer options?

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Thank you all!

Good call on The Classics. He loves it. But we were just there for Father's Day. :lol:

I enjoyed Hazel, but for my husband I feel like it's a little Tail Up Goat-esque (meaning small portions and too out there for him). He also doesn't do very well with scene-y or "hipster" places (which I failed to mention above).

I was thinking about the bar at Corduroy. I've never eaten at the bar there, and I've read here about the great value. Convivial is a great idea, too (both steak frites and a burger on the menu!)! I loooooved Kinship, but I fear we won't get bar seats at 7pm on a Saturday.

Lots of good suggestions! Thanks again to all for taking the time to help!

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Too late I think, but consider Grapeseed next time. Not only can you get bar seating, you can also sit at the kitchen counter. Traditional app/entree menu, and while they are seafood focused, there's always a steak on the menu. And super easy drive from you.

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13 hours ago, peasoup said:

Corduroy bar is great value....but often no beef dishes. And the ambience is not good...

That's not all true. The faux rib eye, which is real beef, is availalabe 99% of the nights we are open.

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I forgot about Grapeseed! We've actually been there before for the pork and pinot tasting menu they did last year (or the year before?). I don't think it was really my husband's cup of tea (the format, not the food), but we still had a good time. We could definitely check it out again. We'd probably stick to the regular menu next time.

We ended up back at Dino's Grotto, and we had a great time at the bar, including several cocktails (the first two at happy hour prices). We also found very convenient street parking on 10th Street! Thanks again to all for the suggestions -- I have a bunch in my pocket for next time. And I'm glad to know about the faux ribeye at Corduroy!

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Glad to hear that you had a great night out!  I thought I was sneaky about Hazel since they offer a large format meal option for 2-3 people and some of their small plates are sizeable.  For a meat lover, Rural Society might be a good option too.  Never been for a normal dinner but we took advantage of their restaurant week menu twice and was impressed both times.  If you are willing to drive further, Ray's the Steaks is the ultimate temple of meat in DC.

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Yes, Rural Society is definitely a good thought. I feel like Ray's the Steaks is similar to The Classics, which we go to frequently since we live nearby, no?

@DaveO, I had the mussels at Dino's! Delish!

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1 hour ago, dracisk said:

Yes, Rural Society is definitely a good thought. I feel like Ray's the Steaks is similar to The Classics, which we go to frequently since we live nearby, no?

@DaveO, I had the mussels at Dino's! Delish!

I was wondering about the Ray's suggestion along the same lines you suggested.  Is there someone on this board who has been to both in the last year that can speak to similarities or differences?  I've never dined at The Classics for those infrequent times I've dined in SS.  I've assumed Ray's and the Classics were very similar.

@dracisk  I'm with you on those mussels. I'm currently trying some others for scientific :rolleyes: purposes and will start making them at home shortly.

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Without traffic, I'm 20 minutes from Classics and 30+ from Ray's. We're at Classics a lot more than Ray's these days, but there's not a significant difference. Classics has the bistro menu, and the entree salads and burgers. Ray's has the specialty dry aged cuts. But they both have the core steaks, spinach/mashed, apps, bisque, etc.

If I lived significantly closer to one, not a huge reason to make a longer trip to the other.

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14 hours ago, Tom Power said:

That's not all true. The faux rib eye, which is real beef, is availalabe 99% of the nights we are open.

My memory of most nights I've been there the menu has the salmon with hijiki and rice, a pasta dish (often fettuccine with mushrooms) and a pork dish (either cheeks or a loin preparation). I might just overlook the beef shoulder all the time.

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On June 24, 2017 at 3:01 PM, peasoup said:

Corduroy bar is great value....but often no beef dishes. And the ambience is not good...

I like the ambiance there!

And the faux ribeye is quite nice.

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